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Equinor to develop gas and condensate discoveries in the Norwegian Sea

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Oilfield Technology,

Equinor and Halten East partners Vår Energi, Spirit Energy and Petoro have decided to invest about NOK 9 billion in the development of the area neighbouring to the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

The area consists of six gas and condensate discoveries and options on another three prospects. The partnership has submitted the plan for development and operation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president, Projects, Drilling & Procurement aid: “Gas is an important energy carrier for Europe. Halten East utilises the existing gas infrastructure on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and will add important volumes that will generate substantial value. The project is a good example of how Equinor works with partners and government authorities across production licences to find smart solutions for optimal resource exploitation from the NCS.”

Halten East is a collective name for several small-size discoveries and prospects. Finding economically viable development alternatives for each individual project was difficult. In 2020 the licensees in the four licences therefore agreed to develop the area as a unit.

Recoverable reserves in Halten East are estimated at almost 16 million Sm3 of oil equivalent, or around 100 million boe, 60% of which is gas piped via Kårstø to Europe.

“Halten East is a subsea development consisting of five subsea templates that will be tied back to the existing infrastructure on the Åsgard field, ensuring good resource exploitation and high value creation, low development costs, and low CO2 emissions,” says Randi Elisabet Hugdahl, vice president, Åsgard operations.

The project is planned to be executed in two phases. In the first phase of the development, six wells will be drilled in the period 2024-2025, whereas phase two is planned to be developed in 2029. Production from the two first wells is scheduled for 2025. Subsequently, the wells will be put on stream as they are completed.

Social spin-off effects in Norway: According to a spin-off study by Bodø Science Park the national employment effects in the development phase of Halten East are estimated at slightly more than 3000 person-years of employment per year over five years in the period 2022-2029.

More than 90% of the Halten East investments go to suppliers resident in Norway. Contracts at a combined value of almost NOK 7 billion will be awarded.

Contracts and letter of intent:

  • Technip FMC: A contract for the installation of pipelines and subsea structures – value NOK 1.3-1.5 billion.
  • Aker Solutions: Subsea production system contract – value NOK 1.3-1.5 billion.
  • Aker Solutions: Letter of intent for an umbilical – value NOK 300-400 million.

In addition, contracts have been awarded for drilling, drilling services, specialist services and modifications to the Åsgard B platform module at an estimated value of NOK 3.6 billion.

The contracts are subject to government approval of the plan for development and operation.

Partners: Equinor Energy AS (57.70% - operator), Petoro AS (5.90%), Vår Energi AS (24.60%) and Spirit Energy AS (11,80 %).

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